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Storm Katie blows in bringing gales and power cuts across the county and closing the Dartford crossing and Port of Dover

High winds with gusts up to 70mph battered Kent causing road closures including the Dartford bridge crossing.

Thousands of homes were left without electricity because power lines were brought down which UK Power Networks say it is working flat out to fix.

Ferry crossings from Dover were also delayed after bosses decided to close the port until midday and engineers are working to fix storm damage at Dreamland theme park in Margate.

Numerous roads were closed by fallen trees as the storm developed overnight following the Met Office amber warning for the county and particularly coastal areas.

A storm lashes Sandgate. Stock photo by Gillian Bond
A storm lashes Sandgate. Stock photo by Gillian Bond

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said its staff had been working flat out dealing with numerous incidents all morning.

They include fallen trees, roof damage, a collapsed chimney stack and falling tiles, dislodged signs, and a wooden stable block which blew onto an embankment of the A228.

There were delays on the A249 as the Sheppey Crossing remains closed in both directions and traffic is being diverted by the Kingsferry Bridge.

The Sheppey Way was closed as was the A2 (Darenth) junction with the M25, due to the wind blowing down power cables which were left hanging from the M25 bridge above. Traffic is being diverted up A225 dartford slip road.

The A251 Faversham Road was closed both ways due to fallen tree between A252 and Pested Lane

The A291 Canterbury Road between Herne and Sturry was also said to be blocked both ways due to flooding between Busheyfields Road and Sweechgate.

Trinity Crescent in Folkestone was briefly closed this morning after damage to a roof there.

A fallen tree. Stock image
A fallen tree. Stock image

Southeastern said there were speed restrictions on the lines between Ramsgate and Faversham and Ramsgate and Dover Priory until later this morning.

Other lines to see speed limits imposed included Folkestone Central to Sevenoaks and Ashford to Swanley.

The company advised passengers to check for the latest details before they travelled.

Fallen trees blocked the A251 Faversham Road between the A252 and Pested Lane and the A259 Hythe Road at Pear Tree Lane.

Fallen tree in Pembury Road, Tunbridge Wells
Fallen tree in Pembury Road, Tunbridge Wells

The Pembury Road in Tunbridge Wells was also closed by a fallen tree as was the A264 Bishop's Down. Common Lane, Wilmington, Dartford and Dover Road in Walmer are partially blocked.

A tree has blown down in Dover Road, Walmer
A tree has blown down in Dover Road, Walmer

Police were also called at 8.30am today to a fallen tree on the A252 near Challock in the Ashford district.

The road was closed and a diversion route set up to allow the tree to be removed by Kent County Council workers.

A spokesman for Dreamland in Margate said it was assessing supeficial damage and was bringing engineers to start repairs 

A spokesman said:"If you are planning to visit Dreamland today, to get the latest information we recommend you telephone us on 01843 295 887 before travelling, to enable you to best plan your day."

The Scenic Railway requires further maintenance
The Scenic Railway requires further maintenance

The Met Office had issued an amber weather warning yesterday, predicting the storm would hit Kent in the early hours.

A Met Office spokesman said that winds would strengthen markedly across southern England and south Wales from the start of Monday, with the potential for 50-60 mph gusts inland and 70 mph gusts around coasts exposed to the south and west.

Additional hazards would include large waves around exposed coasts as well as a period of heavy rain.

Tree down in Common Lane, Wilmington, Dartford
Tree down in Common Lane, Wilmington, Dartford

Storm Katie is the 11th storm named by the Met Office since last autumn.

Highways England is advising drivers of high-sided vehicles, anyone towing caravans or riding motorbikes to take extra care.

A spokesman added: "The winds will be accompanied by outbreaks of heavy rain and as a result driving conditions will be hazardous for all vehicles. 

"As the severe weather coincides with the Easter holiday there are more likely to be vehicles towing caravans and trailers or with roof racks and top boxes fitted.

"The wind strength will ease in the afternoon from the west as the low pressure area associated with Storm Katie moves into the North Sea."

Send your storm photos and details to multimedianews@thekmgroup.co.uk

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